ApplicationXtender – 5.30 to 5.40SP1 upgrade planning

Previously I documented a rough outline of the AX 5.30 Infrastructure installation process:

With support for 5.30 expiring today, I think it high time we got our infrastructure up to date up to the most current version that is supported for use with SunGard Banner.

  1. Uninstall all previously existing AX components.  Purge any residual files from the IIS  publishing directories, “Program Files”, “Application Data”, and the registry.
  2. Set security for the global impersonation account according to the table on page 210 of the “concepts and planning guide”.
    1. Note that the account does not have to be a local administrator!
    2. However, the security accounts will have to have privileges to the resources accessed by the services (i.e. NTFS filesystems rights, shared folder access).
    3. Rendering Service –
      1. When granting rights to the DX data store, plan ahead.  Permissions could take a long time to apply.
      2. Requires Local Security Policy “Replace a Process Level Token” and “Adjust memory quotas for a process” rights.  Also, the “Allow service to interact with the desktop” box must be deselected in the “Log On” tab of the Rendering service properties.
    4. WebAccess.NET Services –
      1. Global Account needs only “Log on as a service” Local Security Policy assignment.  You can clear out all “legacy” security permissions as they are not needed for WebAccess!
  3. Install AX Desktop, installing all administration tools:
    1. msiexec /i “ApplicationXtender Desktop.msi” /qb ADDLOCAL=DocumentManager,AppGen,ConfigurationTools,ManagementTools
  4. Install the new License Server and install license file:
    1. Install the “ApplicationXtender License Server.msi” (FlexNet License Manager)
      1. Drop the .LIC license file into C:Program FilesXtenderSolutionsContent ManagementLicense Server
      2. Configure the Login identity of the “ApplicationXtender License Client Components” COM+ application to use the global impersonation account.  This component must be shut down to be reconfigured.  Details in EMC PowerLink solution esg92864.
      3. Restart the “ApplicationXtender License Service” Service.
    2. Install the “EMC License Server” (Proprietary License Server, to support DiskXtender)
      1. Install all current patches to the service
      2. Run the “License Server Administrator” GUI.
      3. Go to “Tools”, then “New License Wizard” to install the DiskXtender License.
  5. Install DiskXtender
    1. Install DiskXtender patches, in sequence
      1. When prompted for the DX service account, you must provide an account that has local “administrator” rights, and the ability to “log on as a service”.
    2. Verify and/or re-establish RPC partition maps – See the “Core Components” guide for instructions.
    3. Consider switching to DCOM security model, which will require modifying the “AE_PATHS” table in each data source db.   See page 160 of the “Desktop Install Guide” for details.
      1. This is not actually practical to do since it will break AX Desktop on any system that is not joined to the CAMPUS domain (and why would they not be joined, I wonder?)
  6. Launch AX Admin
    1. See “ApplicationXtender Desktop Installation Guide” for details
    2. Log in as SYSOP and perform the database upgrade, if prompted.
    3. Verify global settings:
      1. Add license server configuration: see “Core Components” guide for details.
      2. Web Access .NET must use Global credentials since we are using and Oracle database with Oracle security.
    4. Save the configuration and exit
  7. Launch AppGen, and verify functionality.
    1. Connect to each defined data source, one at a time.
    2. Perform database upgrades if prompted (this should be safe, but can take several minutes to complete).
  8. Set IIS web site root to use ASP.NET 2.0.
  9. Install AX Web Services, making sure to install the required “Utility Services” component.  “AX Web Services” and “Workflow” components are optional.
    1. See “AppXtender Core Components Admin Guide” for installation and config details.
    2. Choose IIS installation option, and install into “Default Web Site” (which should be the only site present)
    3. Ensure that “Default.aspx” is listed as an accepted default page for the “AppXtender” IIS web application.
  10. Install AX Web Access .NET
  11. Install AX Rending Server
  12. Run the Component Setup Wizard for all installed components
  13. Outside of my control:
    1. BannerXtender updates need to be applied to production Banner systems.
    2. DocSend and ECopy stations need to be upgraded to 5.40 AX Desktop releases
    3. DocAccel server needs 5.40 AX Desktop upgrade
    4. All AX desktop clients need updates, too.
    5. Anyone using WX WebAccess.NET ActiveX controls will need to upgrade these components.
  14. Test Test Test!


Microsoft Deployment Toolkit – To Do Items

MDT looks to be gaining a lot of usage, which is good from my perspective as it means more brains with whom to share ideas.

Here are a few ideas I have been considering for addition to our MDT Workbench:

  • Use the MDT Wizard Editor to add a page for whole-system backup.  This functionality has been requested by our College of Medicine IT Staff.
  • Implement the “Roles Wizard” solution to allow Distributed IT staff the ability to select MSD database roles for their system.
    • This will require that I farm out data writer rights to the MSD database, too.
  • Move all online versions of the MDT Distribution Points to our NetApp network storage and activate de-duplication features… this should keep the whole bloated thing much more trim.
  • Create Model Aliases for Apple computers.  This will be helpful as we gear up for BootCamp support.
  • Finish my own disk paritioning script to add support for BootCamp, and to preserve OEM utility partitions.
  • Integrate all current Dell Driver CABs… figure out if there are notifications available for these.
  • Move “sensitive” application installers into a single central distribution share and secure them.  Do not replicate these installers to secondary distribution points.
  • Implement “media” based deployment points to allow high-speed deployment from low-speed networks.